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How to stay fit and healthy while traveling

Are you a traveler who’s trying to remain active and eat healthier this year? I’m often traveling internationally for work so I know the reality of how hard this is when you’re crossing borders and time zones. Here are my best tips for how to stay focused on your goals when life calls you out on the road.

 

Balance food intake

Eating healthy is the biggest battle when you’re traveling. It’s easy to get caught up in a new country where you have the opportunity to eat some amazing local food. We get it. When else will you be able to eat authentic pizza in Italy or dim sum in China?

Photo by Valerio Capello (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Photo by Valerio Capello (CC BY-SA 3.0)

One or two meals aren’t going to kill you, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for indulging in the local delicacy. But moderation and balance are key. If you know you have a business dinner where a minimum five-course meal will be brought out, eat lighter foods throughout the day and try to get a workout in. Or walk off your meal after.

 

Find healthy restaurants

It’s easier to make healthy food choices if menus with unhealthy foods do not tempt you. Apps like HealthyOut (available for US only), and Food Tripping will show you healthy food markets, juice bars, farmers markets, and other healthy restaurants that are close to you.

If you have the time, pack your own meals to avoid eating unhealthy airport food. But if that’s just not practical for you, GateGuru will not only keep all your flight info it will show you all the amenities available in your airport with their locations listed closest to your terminal.

HealthyOutApp

 

Workout indoor or outdoorsjust do it!

Routine exercise is especially difficult for travelers when schedules and cities are rarely the same.

The key is discipline and pushing yourself. Whether it’s after a meeting or dinner, get to the gym as quick as possible before you start thinking about sleeping. These don’t have to be intense workouts; a light 15-minute workout is good enough to start.

Not a gym person? Get outside! Go for a run around your hotel, or check out Trip Advisor forums for local areas where you can get in workout. My favorite place to hike is Elephant Mountain in Taiwan. The thousands of steep steps help you burn a ton of calories and the views of Taipei are rewarding in itself.

Elephant Mountain by Jirka Matousek on Flickr (CC-BY-2.0).
Elephant Mountain by Jirka Matousek on Flickr (CC-BY-2.0).

Track your outdoor exercise using RunKeeper or MapMyRun. The maps are also helpful to make sure you don’t get lost—not that we would know anything about that…

If you prefer the gym, pick a hotel with the gym in mind. ProTip: Hotels are notorious for PhotoShopping their pictures. Check out TripAdvisor for reviews to hear what other travelers had to say about the gym.

Westin Hotels have a program call the WestinWorkout that provides guests with New Balance workout gear (shoes and clothing) for only $5 USD. Our favorite part about this program is not having to lug around your own smelly gym clothes or paying to have yours cleaned.

 

Get health insurance

Trust us, you’re going to want health insurance. You never know what’s going to happen. Workouts can lead to injuries when weights fall, you fall, you get heat stroke, or in my case, you have a random allergic reaction to something outside.

healthinsurance

It’s important to have a game plan for staying healthy before you travel. I’d like to hear from you too. Do you have any apps, gadgets or fitness tips you use to stay motivated on the road? Let us know in the comments below.

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